2018 NHSI: John Curtis Defeats American Heritage (FL) 2-1


Trey Sofio
Louisiana Scouting Director

CARY, NC  ̶  John Curtis HS advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 National High School Invitational, after 2-1 victory on Thursday over American Heritage (FL). Louisiana State recruit, 2018 RHP Will Ripoll (John Curtis HS, LA) tossed 6.1 innings, allowing only one run on three hits, while striking out three. Although lacking his usual quality command during the outing, Ripoll overcame five walks and two hit batters with an explosive two-pitch mix. The 5-foot-11, 171-pounder pitched 88-91 mph with his fastball throughout the outing, and touched 93 mph early. His curveball was also sharp and effective on the day, showing tight spin, depth, and sharp, late break at 77-80 mph.

The Patriots got on the board first, as Ripoll would lead off the top of the 4th with a double to the left-center gap. Louisiana State recruit, 2018 1B Cade Beloso (John Curtis HS, LA) would follow with a single to right, and then 2018 C Jay Curtis (John Curtis HS, LA) would drive the run in on a deep fly ball to centerfield.

After American Heritage (FL) answered with a run in the bottom of the 5th, the Patriots would answer right back with a run in the top of the 6th to reclaim the lead. 2018 SS Brandon Davis (John Curtis HS, LA) would lead the inning off with an infield single, giving a home-to-first time of 4.31-seconds. The Patriots would eventually load the bases, and run would be brought in on a balk call with the bases loaded.

Although neither team would score again, things certainly became tense and heated late. Louisiana-Lafayette recruit, 2019 LHP Dax Ford (John Curtis HS, LA) would relieve Ripoll with a runner on 2nd base in the bottom of 7th inning. After an error, American Heritage (FL) would have runners on 1st and 3rd with one out. The final play of the game came on a slow roller up third base line, which Jay Curtis would field and then full-arm fake to create a run-down between third and home. That runner would eventually be tagged out, and then the play continued as the trail runner would get caught in no-man’s land in-between second and third base. A rundown would ensue, and the Patriots would ultimately complete the play, record the out, and claim victory.

Curtis’ will be back in action on Friday, as they face off against Green Hope (NC) in a semifinal matchup with first pitch set for 12:00 PM (ET). Be sure to follow us on twitter, as the Prep Baseball Report will have complete coverage from the 2018 NHSI.

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